When we first heard about “the next Fallout” at E3, we were excited for a minute. It has been over 3 years since Fallout 4, and the timing was about right, so yes, fans of the series were excited. New Fallout game, hell yea! Not to mention, Fallout 4 had its own issues, and not everyone was happy with the direction the franchise was headed.
Todd Howard had the crowd spellbound, “set in the hills of West Virginia, you are one of the first to emerge, into an untamed and very different Wasteland”. Sold, we were all sold. They even attached an age old classic in the form of Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver, you know, just to make sure the hook was latched on deep.
What is Fallout 76?
Also, why is this called Fallout 76? Oh wait, right, vault 76. Okay, fair enough. We won’t take issue with naming conventions. Unfortunately, odd naming conventions are just the tip of the iceberg here. This is the part where we tell you that Fallout 76 is an online game. Yep, an MMO Fallout of sorts that’s limited to 24 people. But, it’s Bethesda, you never know, it might just be a good game. Then we remembered, right, it’s Bethesda, they’ve perfected the art of releasing unfinished buggy games and literally need modders to fix everything. Okay, maybe we’re exaggerating a bit but you get the point.
We did get our hands on the Fallout 76 BETA (which took place just a week before the official launch mind you). We hadn’t encountered too much in the form of bugs during our play-through, however, a single glance at the forums and you’ll see a number of complaints about bugs and glitches, many of which were pointed out during the B.E.T.A (break it early test application), but are still present in-game in its current state. Also, nobody expected them to change anything in a BETA that was setup just a week before launch.
First, you have the size of the local download. The game was a 45GB download to begin with, and then there was a day one patch which was BIGGER than the original download size at 53GB. That brought the total on-disk size to a whopping 90+GB. For an online only game with absolutely no single-player that’s a tad absurd.
If that wasn’t bad enough, you have issue number two. The client crashing on us during the download, three times! There’s also people who’ve complained that the launcher deleted their entire game during the BETA, causing them to have to re-download the whole thing all over again. Thankfully, that wasn’t an issue during launch. Having to download almost a 100GB again would probably turn most players away then and there. That’s a big no-no, especially here where bandwidth is often limited. All of this would have still been fine if the game was any good.
Quality $60 AAA gameplay
Just kidding. For actual gameplay you could probably just read our BETA impressions, since nothing has changed. The FPS is locked, there’s no shortage of bugs and glitches, there are quests that were broken during the BETA, that are still broken.
Gameplay-wise, just imagine you’re playing Fallout 4. That’s it. Let’s just call it Fallout 4 multiplayer. But see, that’s the funny thing, it’s online, but you hardly ever come across anybody else because the map is huge, four times the size of Fallout 4’s map. With a grand total of 24 players to populate it. You can open up your map and look up where other players are at any time. Make your way to them if you so please (be prepared for a long trek), and if you make it to them, hope that they don’t kill you. Which they most likely will.
To curb player killing Bethesda has put a bounty system in the game, wherein everyone on the map is alerted if someone kills a player, and they get a price on their head. Hunt em down for the reward. Does anyone adhere to this? Take a guess. 🙂
The whole game for the most part is go to a place, loot all the things, kill all the things, loot the dead things, go to new place, repeat. Oh of course, when your inventory is full the cycle changes up a bit, go back to personal stash, store stuff, use caps to fast travel back to place to loot more stuff, continue until broke. Or until your personal stash is full. Then we guess you just wander around aimlessly… maybe find a nuke and nuke someone, we dunno, at this point we were already terribly bored.
The things people loved about the Fallout series, the story, the interesting NPCs and their quests, it’s all gone. Instead, you’re in a massive world with ZERO NPCs. Yes, you read that right, zero. Instead, you have quest giving robots. The idea supposedly, is that the players (all 24 of them) will populate this new literally barren world.
The only other life in the game, so to speak, are the enemy AI (oh we’ll get to them in a minute), but that’s it. The story is weak, and has no pull whatsoever. There was no reason for us to be vested in the story at all.
Speaking of weak, the enemies are weak. Calling the game easy would be an understatement. The V.A.T.S has been reworked as well, while it would normally slow down time and give you a choice of places to aim for, you can’t have time slow down in an online game now can you? Instead, it’s some sort of aim-assist. If it ever gets to the point where you actually need bullets to deal with anything. We just whaled on them with a machete till they died. Why waste bullets.
There’s PvP. Like we mentioned above, if you find someone you can kill them (if they don’t decide to kill you first). You can try PvP the legit way via the arena. Just be sure to stack up on stimpacks or you’ll just get cheesed to death.
Oh, and did we mention microtransactions? Remember what happened the last time there were microtransactions on a fully priced AAA game? Of course, it has been pointed out that these are purely cosmetic.
The only good thing about this game is the map, like the actual map’s artwork, oh and maybe the Nuka Tapper game you can play right at the start of the game on a computer in your room. That’s more challenging than the actual game.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
But that’s how it’s supposed to feel…
For those of you who think that feeling like the only person alive in a massive open world which is being sold as an online multiplayer game is the “way it’s supposed to feel”, well, good luck to you and we hope you enjoy the game, for we did not. In case you didn’t watch, that’s not exactly what they were advertising, as shown in the game’s trailer, which was live action btw. Oooh live action! That must mean the game is good! Ahh, the wonders of marketing.
Fallout 76: The Verdict
The thing about Fallout 76 is that nobody wanted an online Fallout game. They made one anyway, fine. But the issue doesn’t end there, this isn’t the first time Bethesda have released an unfinished game, full of bugs. It’s like a re-skinned Fallout 4 with multiplayer slapped on to take our money. This idea of releasing an unfinished game, and people buying the game in hopes that it’ll eventually get better is not a good one.
Then there’s also the fact that the game is not on Steam, and you will need the Bethesda launcher to download and play. Makes you wonder if there would have been similar issues during launch otherwise.
It should tell you a lot if people are calling Fallout 76 the No Man’s Sky of 2018. The difference is that it’s actually worth playing No Man’s Sky over this right now. Especially if you’re paying full AAA price. We’re just going to go play Skyrim till Bethesda figures out what it is that players actually want.
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Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.